The Environment-Labour Relationship: New Directions for Sociological Thinking and Research

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This paper argues the case for a better sociological understanding of the interplay between the worlds of work (formal/informal, paid/unpaid, productive/reproductive) and environmental problems, particularly in the Australian context. This paper commences with a brief outline of some points of significance around the research terrain, followed by a snapshot of research at the sub-disciplinary intersection of environmental sociology and the sociology of work, with particular reference to questions around the environment-labour relationship. In approaching the scholarship we have canvassed a number of prominent environmental sociology texts and examined the last five years of publication of the Australian Journal of Sociology and Journal of Industrial Relations. In general, we found the sociological literature on the environmental-labour relationship to be relatively undeveloped. Lastly, we consider a framework for advancing research on the environment-labour relationship that incorporates three interconnected sites of labour ' the labour market, the household and the community. This kind of interconnected framework could usefully accommodate questions around how social divisions of labour and structures of labour inequality are connected to environmental issues, for example. This research agenda and praxis is vital if our collective environmental survival is to be secured in an enduring, equitable, inclusive, just and democratic manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTASA 2008 conference
Subtitle of host publicationRe-imagining Sociology
EditorsT. Majoribanks, J. Barraket, J-S Chang, A. Dawson, M. Guillemin, M Henry- Henry-Waring, A. Kenyon, R. Kokanovic, J. Lewis, D. Lusher, D. Nolan, P. Pyett, R. Robins, D. Warr, J. Wyn
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780734039842
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian Sociological Association Annual Conference - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 02 Dec 200805 Dec 2008


ConferenceAustralian Sociological Association Annual Conference


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